Lovely Ladies

Lovely Ladies

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Erin 5.27.2014

Visiting Great Grandpa and Grandma Messick. Visiting Grandpa Echols. Too far away to visit Grandma Bodily (Montana). Miss them all so much. Big Week coming up.....Erin is having surgery on her elbow on Wednesday. More info and photos to follow.

Brooke.....5.27.2014

I totally realized that I didn't even write the Stuffing part of my letter! I usually do that last so I can finish up with the beginning and the end! I'll do it now! This week was super boring. I got the flu and spent a whole day inside sick. Then, Sister Messer got sick. Barbara got confirmed!!! These last 2 weeks, we've only had 3 days where we don't have dinners. The ward has finally realized that the Sisters are really cool. Everyone wants to feed us. We're hilarious together. The Elders get super jealous when they see our meal calendar! We have had so many people in the ward tell us they didn't know missionaries had fun. When they see us, we're always cracking jokes and picking on each other. We get the whole ward involved in these conversations. LOVE IT! It's super funny when you see the ward members try to copy Sister Messer and I in anything... Like dress, speech, jokes, and people even try to copy my hair... not sure how I feel about THAT particular thing. My hair is HUGE!!!!! It's super curly now! I have given up on it. It let it go in any direction it wants. People always comment on it and ask me how I did it. I just tell them that I wake up and leave it alone. That's all I do. It doesn't matter what I do to it... it will always be messy. Good thing I've had that as a motto for a while, "Always have messy hair, that way, when it's messy on accident, it looks like it was meant to be that way." Well, welcome to missionary life. This week, we got a new investigator, who now lives in Greeneville. We gave them that referral. Then, our investigator Norma, is moving to Greeneville. Now, they have another referral from us. You're welcome Greeneville! Hahahaha! It is soooooooo weird to know that I'm over halfway done with my mission! CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I luv yu'ns mor'n awl them pesky skeeters. :) I'm fluent in hick!

Brooke 5.27.2014

(Abbott Family...my crazy companion spit water all over me!!...KEVIN WENT THROUGH THE TEMPLE!!!!!!...) iHola Familia! As you know, yesterday was memorial day, so I'm emailing you today! Transfers isn't until the 18, no baptisms, no new companions. We did have our investigator Nick drop us. And our investigator Sam moved to texas. Other than that... nothing. Quite a boring week. I got the flu and threw up 4 times. I spent an entire day over the toilet because of it. Not the best day of my mission, that's for sure. We had FHE with the Kirkland's and we taught the girls the 10 commandments by doing a scavenger hunt. They loved it. Aaliyah told us she would tell us if she wanted to be baptized this next week. I love you more than strawberries love chocolate!! Dad: Mom has a gun?! Uh oh... look out world. :) I'm so glad the Garcia's are doing better. How did you like going through the temple with Kevin? Wow, it sounds like your past few weeks have been busy trying to get everything in order for Michael and Anna's wedding. I bet you'll be glad when it's over so you can relax and breath. Have you had the chance to do anything else besides projects for the wedding? Anything fun? Mom: Oh man! I'm sorry that you miss your mom. I miss her too. At least we know we'll see her again. We should go to Montana when I get home. Yup! Sister Messer is a great friend! We always joke that me, Sister Walser (one of my favorite people EVER) and Erin are going to road trip to California for her wedding. :) Kevin: SLDKFJS:DLFKJSD:LKFJS:DLFKJSD:FLKJEOIJCKevin: SLDKFJS:DLFKJSD:LKFJS:DLFKJSD:FLKJEOIJCMichael: Don't be nervous for the wedding. Just know that it's an eternal commitment. That means SIEMPRE... ALWAYS. Don't stress don't stress don't stress. :) You are really bad at writing. I'm not putting you down, I'm just agreeing with you. :) haha. I'm writing you a few lines, so that means that I expect at least that many lines in response. Now, you have a system to go by. Haha! Jen: I'm so glad that you got to go see Grandma! How has your week been? Any crazy fun stories? My hair is now crazy curly, like yours. Thanks! Jeez! :) Just kidding. Erin: I totally read your email first because of your subject line! I was thinking it was SUPER important or something. Hahahahah! You got me! I'm going to fast tomorrow for your surgery. I hope you have fun at Michael and Anna's wedding. Just remember... #noshame... and you'll be just fine. :) I've learned that. I have had "Erin Withdrawels" my whole mission. Seriously. I can't wait to see you again!Oh my gosh!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Erin 9 Months 5.19.2014

9 Months/Half Way/Hump Day.... was spent in Montana saying goodbye to Grandma Bodily. It was not spent out in the Mission Field but her heart was.

Brooke Email 5.19.2014

(I'm addicted to Dr. Enuf! two of the things we don't really like...Basically, I'm a stripling warrior!...Baptism of Jonet and Ben... baptism of Barbara...9 months baby!!!... :)) iHola Familia! So, this week, one of the AP's came with the Zone leaders to the baptism of Jonet and Ben and when we were eating at the luncheon they had after, the conversation came up about speaking other languages and Sister Messer brought up the fact that I speak some Spanish. The AP was like, "You're gonna be an Hermana." I was like, "No I won't! I don't even have an Hermana nametag..." and he was like, "I can order you an Hermana nametag if that's what you're asking.." AAAAhhh!! It's hard enough to teach the gospel in English! It would be 100 times harder to teach it in Spanish! Hopefully, he'll forget that conversation and not tell President... Yikes, I'll let you know what comes of it. If I do get a message or something from President telling me I'm gonna be an Hermana, that AP better buy me lunch or something.... I like Chick-fil-A. :) Barbara got baptized on Sunday!!!! It was so much fun pushing her around in her wheel chair. Right before her baptism, she told us that Satan was trying really hard to stop her because she was in intense pain and that she didn't think she could do it. We said a quick prayer and then went running for the Elders to give her a blessing. It was amazing witnessing that blessing because her pain completely stopped because of the blessing. She was just shocked. The Priesthood is real and it is from God. What a miracle! She was baptized and her husband got to witness it. Hopefully, his heart was softened and he'll be next. :) Jonet and Ben were baptized the day before. Aren't they so cute?! Hopefully, Jonet's dad's heart was softened and he'll follow her example soon. :) I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!!! For my 9 month birthday (hump day) I went to Chick-fil-A to celebrate. We got a new investigator out of it. Sam, one of the workers, asked us if we were LDS and if he could meet with us to learn more about our church. !!!! YES! He also asked if he could bring a friend who was also interested in learning. We met with them a couple days later. Sam is super open and prepared, but his friend, Henry, isn't so much. He just wanted to argue. What we need to do is get Sam alone and teach him without Henry so he can feel the Spirit and make a choice for himself. I love you more than deep sea creatures love the dark! Mom: That picture of Grandma and Jesus is amazing. I cried. I also love the picture of Lars sitting on Heather's head. I bust up. I'm glad that Grandma's funeral was well attended. Wow, that sounded WAY too proper for me... Let's try that again... Sweet! I'm super stoked that a ton of people showed up! THAT was better. :) I thinks it's awesome that you, Erin, and Natha got to dress Grandma in her temple clothes! What an experience! I'm so glad you are home safe and sound now and can relax. :) Love you! Dad: Elder Roberts, (my new Zone Leader), restores cars too! I've showed him all the pictures of the Spitfire and he was in shock that I knew a little bit of what I was showing him. Last night, at FHE, we played a game where you have a category and you try to say as many words as you can about that category. The category was parts on a car... and I won that round!!!! Everyone was SHOCKED! They didn't think a little white girl knew a few parts on a car! PSYCH! Haha, it was great! Thanks for reading my letter, I hope it did some good. I bawled like a baby as I wrote it. It was embarrassing. It's crazy that Brother Buckwalter is the new patriarch! Is that the same Brother Buckwalter who taught me and Erin our mission Prep class? I don't remember his first name... Kevin: Hahaha, you are too funny. :) I loved the thing you have in parenthesis next to you name.... :) What are your plans for this week, now that things are gonna get back to normal here for a little bit before the wedding?? Michael: There are a few things that I want to do with the fam when I see them again, but that's not what I want to focus on for the next 9 months. Tommy's is definitely on the list. Tell Anna that I'm not mad about her imagining her emailing me. :) I think it's kind of funny actually. You two are so twitterpated. Jen: I hope you and Dace had a fun trip to Montana. It was emotional I bet, but it was probably good. :) Erin: Hey, you'll have to answer my last email to you... I'm still wondering. Have you sent you package yet? If not, can you send me more of this stuff? It works really well and doesn't make me tired. They don't have Shopko out here, so I'll have to get it from home... I love you all more than biscuits love gravy!!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Erin with Sister Baty 5.18.2014

Grandmother Barbara Pauline McCracken Bodily 5.12.2014

Brooke Letter for the Passing of Grandma Bodily 5.18.2014

(2 photos)****Families are Forever...****because of this place. 5.14.2014 (Sent from Brooke (with President’s encouragement) to the family because of the passing of Grandma Bodily……) Hey family... President called me on Monday night and told me about Grandma Bodily. He gave me permission to write you today and share some thoughts with you. He told me something that has stuck with me. Earlier in the day, I texted him saying, "Hey President, sorry to be a bother, but have you heard if my grandma died yet?" I had been thinking of it constantly since I talked to you on the phone. He replied, "I have not. Did you connect with your mom ok yesterday?" I was probably interrupting something very important during his day, and yet he wanted to know if I was able to call my mom. That, to me, is a character of Christ. He told me that he had just been on the phone with some other distraught parents and he cared enough to ask me that. That night, around 9, he called me to tell me that he had received word that Grandma had passed earlier in the day. He told me that he realized that when I had texted, it was at the same time she died. He told me that I was inspired to ask him at that time. He told me that I now have another guardian angel watching over me. I know that to be true. He also asked me if I would write to you before Friday so you could have my thoughts before the funeral. He actually committed me to write you. He said, "Will you...?" That's a commitment. He cares so much that he wants even my family to be happy. It just shows me that he knows how important family is. It was his Mother's Day weekend too, and he wanted me to be happy. He took so much time out of his holiday, his chance to talk to his kids one last time before he goes home, just to make sure I was taken care of. That's Charity- the pure love of Christ. I can't tell you how many times I've taught the Plan of Salvation to people since I've been on my mission. I can't tell you how many times I've used the phrase, "Families are Forever" since I've been here. I can't tell you how many times I've told people who have lost a loved-one that everything will be alright because of the Atonement. It all meant something new this week. I realized that I am not just there to teach people that... I am here to believe it too. One of the hardest things for me, is knowing that my family is sad, and I can't do anything about it. This week, I have realized that everything really WILL be taken care of. The Atonement is so much more than just a sacrifice for sin. Just like it says in Alma 7:11-12... It's a sacrifice for pains, afflictions, temptations and literally every thing we go through. There's nothing in the world that Jesus Christ hasn't experienced. He suffered for it all. There's a New Era poster in our apartment and it says, "The Savior of all... did it all for you." He did. I know He did. THAT'S why we can know families can be together forever. That's the whole reason we try. Because it's possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I don't want to take up too much of your time with missionary stuff, but I do want to leave my testimony with you that I know Heavenly Father's plan for His children. It's difficult, filled with trials and afflictions, but it's also worth it. "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." Alma 40: 11-12 I love you all and hope you have a great week. Love, Sister Echols

Brooke Email 5.12.2014

(I love how awkward this statue picture is... This almost says my name!... Elder Becker elbowed me in the face, so I beat him at basketball... Sister Messer's haircut with Elders Mumm and Parkinson photobombing...#BetterThanTheLionKing...These are our new investigators for the week...Jamaica Juice...Wanna be Baptized??...Me and Sister Walser) (Hip hip hooray for another transfer together!...Possum bones...My poor hand from a whiteboard, pullup bar, and lightswitch...Us and Ryan before he leaves for Chicago... Our backyard is a forest) Ahoy there Family!! This week was pretty normal. All except for the fact that President called with some not-so-fun news about Grandma Bodily. At least we have knowledge about the Plan of Happiness. :) We'll miss her because we won't see her again in this life, but we can rejoice in the fact that families are forever. This week, Barbara came to church! She's our 72 year old who's been investigating for 20 years and she's getting baptized next week!!! Soooo stoked! The absolute best part of my week was talking to all of you. :) 7 1/2 months is a long time to have to wait for the next phone call. At least we have email. :) Also this week, we went on exchanges again. I'm getting sick of exchanges. They are so much work. Also, I have the best companion on the face of the planet, so I don't want to be away from her even if it's just for 24 hours. I'm always super excited to have her back. Well, crazy day... I am almost at my 9 month mark! In 2 days, I will have been out for exactly 9 months. On May 22, it will be my exact half way mark. Crazy!! Hey guess what?? This week, our gas got syphoned out of our car! We had just filled up and they took 3/4 of our tank. That WOULD happen. Echols' luck. Mom: I'm sorry about Grandma. How are you doing? Are you ok? Was it fun to be able to see Natha? It was sooo good to talk to you yesterday! I loved every minute of it! It's sad that I can't be there to help you feel better. When I get home next year, you're gonna be so sick of me. ;) I love you Mom, and I hope that you still had a good mother's day in the midst of everything that was going on. Dad: I loved seeing you yesterday! I'm so happy that you did great on your talk! Of course you did. :):) What's it like being able to sit in the congregation? How's work going? What other fun things have you been up to besides taking pictures of rattle snakes? I love you! Michael: You and Anna seem to be pretty happy together. Let Anna know that I don't have a message from her. My email shows that the last message sent was from me on April 7th. I don't know what's with my email. It's doing funky things. Kevin: How's Montana...again? It's crazy that you've been there twice in less than 9 months. How do you like the cold up there? Jen: It was so good to see/ talk to you yesterday! Seriously! I can't wait to have more Mary-Kate and Ashley movie nights! Dace can talk! I couldn't really understand most of the things he was saying, but I could tell that he was saying words and he knew what he was saying! It was crazy to hear him say my name! I love that he still says, "Too" for "I love you." Super cute. You have the cutest kid on earth. I love you! Erin: Erin!!! I loved being able to talk to you yesterday! In my email from President today, he just asked about you. He said, "Did you get to talk to your sister? How did your Sister look? Was it fun to see her?" It was so great! I loved being able to hear your voice and hear how much fun you still are! This is part 2 of the email. I just had to make sure I would be able to send it. Last week, we got a new investigator named Nick. He came up to us at the library and started talking to us... Well, he literally just walked up again as we are sitting her emailing. He wants us to come see him. Crazy! He's 70 years old and from the Bronx. :) Whoa. He has a crazy thick New York accent. Cool beans! Also for Mother's day, we got so spend it with the Parkers. Dad got to meet them over Skype. Aren't they the greatest?!?! It was so fun to be able to spend the evening with them. They had their in-laws over who are super Baptist and atheist. But, we were able to share a message and a prayer. It was crazy, the atheist Father-in-law even bowed his head for the prayer! What?? He can't be atheist. For dinner, we had hamburgers, southern potatoes, coleslaw, chips, key lime pie, and pineapple sherbet. Yum! So tell me, what has everyone been up these past few days? I love hearing anything/everything. Oh ya, and Erin... don't forget to send me the Brazilian picture you made and the picture of you and David. Seriously. :) I love you more than all the fried chicken in the south!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Brooke Email 5.5.2014

Sorry, no pictures this week... my computer is poop. Hey Familia! As I'm sure you saw, I got juice spilled all over me. But hey, we got 2 new investigators out of it. :) We were eating at a Mexican restaurant with Oliver (a less-active we've been trying to go on a team up with us) and we ordered Jamaica Juice. Don't ask me what's in it... I asked Oliver and he said it was made of Mexican Blood. Suuuuure. Anyways, an elderly couple came to the door and the man was pushing his wife in a wheel chair. Sister Messer jumped up to get the door for them and when she sat back down, she tipped over her drink... all over the both of us. For some reason, though, not a single drop got on my yellow shirt. It was a tender mercy from the Lord!!!! Well, after that, we started talking to the old couple and we hit it off right from the start. They felt awful for what had happened, so they paid for Sister Messer's meal. :) I told them that if it hadn't happened, we probably wouldn't have gotten to meet them and become friends. They told us that they hoped to see us again, so we were like, "Or, we could come to your house and visit you." They were like YES and they gave us their address and phone number! GOLDEN! I absolutely love them! Their names are Snake and Pam. This week, we also had a lady from the Home church tell us we were going to Hell because we've made mistakes since we've been baptized. They apparently don't believe in the Atonement. Well, they'd be surprised. For 3 days in a row, nothing happened. Seriously. We drove and drove and drove because no one was home. This week, I hit another Possum! It was out in the day time, so it wasn't my fault. We were driving and I hit it, and was like, "Uh, my bad." HAHAHAHAHA! Dumb possum! It was all gross and dead looking in the middle of the road. Oh well... Do possums go to heaven? If they do, I'm gonna have one heck of a welcoming party when I die. It will be an angry mob. :):) I love you more than possums like to play dead and actually be dead!! Hey, I don't know if I've told you or not, but I'm allowed to use one hour a week to go onto Mormon.org or LDS.org.... and President Irion told us that we can check our emails then too. Just as long as we don't respond to them, it's fine!! So, feel free to write me during the week if you want to because I have an extra hour to read them. :) Mom: Wow, Erin's appendages are all funky. I miss yard work!! I also miss being tan. At least we'll have a lot of yard work to do when I get home. Can you believe I've been out for almost 9 months?? It's crazy, it feels like it goes so slow, and then I look back and I don't know where time has gone. Time as a missionary is weird... It goes by really fast, for a really long time. I don't know what to make of it. ERIN'S DATING SOMEONE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! She better wait for me to get home before she has the wedding. Tell her that I approve. :) Dad: Are you getting back into shooting? I feel like Erin will get fixed up just fine.. :) I think she had to go home early to date David. :):):):) That's crazy if there won't be missionaries in Ukraine or Russia. We have a member here named Vlad from Ukraine... He might know more details. Crazy! I love you Papi! Michael: Send me some more news on what you and Anna have been doing. You're getting married for cryin' out loud... there's gotta be something you two do for fun. :) Haha! Kevin: It's a good thing you sent that 3 times, because I only got it once. I only got #2. You need a new email or something. Haha! I loved your heart comment! It made me bust up! I'm glad you got to go to comedy Sportz. Erin and I got to go there with the Basketball team. I cannot wait to see your smolder!! I'm super stoked about it! How was school?? Jen: Hey! Aren't you so happy you got your favorite sister back?! Haha! JK! Honestly though, you are super lucky to have her again. :) and have the cutest son in the whole world. :) Erin: Don't make your emails short. I have enough time to read everything because of my Mormon.org hour. I have time. So, feel free to write me a book if you want. YES!!!! Print off the brazil faces AND the one of you and D****!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh!! You're dating someone and you've been home for 2 weeks????? He's cute, so I approve!! He has a nice smile and great hair... done. Forget about marrying any one else, marry D*v*d instead. :):):) Erin S***** does have a ring to it! Haha, see what I did there?? "Ring?" Haha! Oh my gosh!!!!! Everyone in the library prolly hates me right now because I'm freaking out! :):):):):):)

Erin Update 5.5.2014

The Life and Week of Sister Erin Echols: (Doctors Visits and Tests, Gun Target Practicing, Dates with David Steele, Being Artistic, Yard Work, Pony Rides and Parties with the Sister Missionaries)

5.5.2014 Cinco De Mayo